A/N: Just a little something to get the muses flowing. I'm only planning on five chapters right now, but I can't promise not to make additions in the future. They'll all be stand-alones, and I don't plan on fleshing them out any further, but if anybody's inspired by any of these please feel free to take the plot bunny and run with it.
Disclaimer: I am but a humble fanfiction writer, borrowing characters from other, more famous people far more deserving of fame. If you recognize it, it probably ain't mine.
. . .
She looked nervous, and House could tell Faith wasn’t the type of girl that looked that way very often. Defiant, cocky, belligerent; these were surely the norm, but the little-girl-lost standing in front of him was disquieting. The first time they’d met, she’d been confident, if not entirely self-assured. She’d smirked when she introduced herself, squeezed just a little harder than necessary when shaking his hand, but apparently her bravado wasn’t up to par with facing her test results head-on. Her former confidence was nowhere in evidence, instead replaced by obvious apprehension.
“They’re back?” she asked. He’d been afraid she’d be disgustingly hopeful about it, but her sounding like a puppy that was about to get kicked was somehow worse.
He flashed the manila folder in his hands before dropping it onto his desk. “One paternity test, as ordered.”
“Right,” she said, letting out a deep breath and taking a seat. “Look, I know this is messed up and all, springing this shit on you out the blue and everything, but… I mean, it’s not like I expect anything, okay? Just so you know. I mean-”
“Just so you
know- I don’t care,” House interrupted.
She stopped short, staring. “What?”
“It’s a moot point. Test’s negative.”
She furrowed her eyebrows, genuinely confused. “What?”
“God, you’re redundant,” he sneered unenthusiastically. “The test. It’s negative. I’m not your mother’s ‘baby daddy’.”
“What?” She sounded younger with every repetition. “But... that doesn’t make sense. My mom, she told me-“
“And was your mother by any chance a cracked-out hooker?” House interrupted.
“You should know, you fucked her,” Faith spat in a brief flare of anger.
“I’ve fucked a lot of women that fit that description. That doesn’t change what’s in here,” he said, brandishing the folder.
“You don’t understand, it has
to be you. She had your name. She knew about you. A- a student at Johns Hopkins, only you got kicked out. One last fuck before you left Baltimore, that’s what you told her,” she said desperately. “You’re reading it wrong.”
House snorted condescendingly. “I hate to break it to you, but ‘doctor’ trumps ‘drunken, drug-addicted whore’.”
“She wouldn’t lie about this,” she begged, not looking up when the door to House’s office opened behind her. House met Wilson’s eyes over her shoulder. He considered telling him to leave, but he was almost done with Faith.
lies,” he stated. “Now if you don’t mind, I have actual work to do. Go cry in a bathroom stall or something.”
She stared at him, shocked, before blindly gathering her purse and rising to leave. “I’m sorry for bothering you.” House tried not to cringe when her voice trembled. Wilson stepped back so she could get through the door, but she hardly seemed to notice he was there as she rushed out of the room.
“I see we’re brushing up on our bedside manner,” Wilson observed once the door had closed behind her.
“What can I say? I think tears are sexy,” he said, propping a small, plain business card against the pencil holder on his desk.
Wilson rolled his eyes. “Who was she?”
House waved a hand dismissively. “Just some girl on a fruitless quest to find the bad man that knocked up mommy and never called in hopes that he’ll welcome his newfound daughter with open arms and kiss it all better.”
While House was talking, Wilson walked over to the desk and picked up the unlabeled folder. He skimmed the contents and froze. His eyes widened as he reread it to be sure. “House… this is positive.”
“Congratulations, you can read a chart. They teach you that in medical school?”
to her?” he asked incredulously.
“She probably just wanted money,” he said derisively.
“Could you not see
the look on her face?” Wilson asked disbelievingly. “She wanted… she wants a father.”
“Exactly. She wanted a father
, something I’m neither inclined nor equipped to be.”
“How can you possibly
be so cold? Damn it, House, she’s your daughter. Doesn’t that mean anything
House’s expression turned hard. “She’s looking for someone to make it all better, someone who can replace her useless, cracked-out whore of a mother. Somehow, I don’t think giving her a crippled, pill-popping jackass for a father is quite the answer she’s looking for.”
“So, because you’re
insecure and emotionally stunted, she
has to lose out on knowing who her father is?” he asked, disgusted. “Even you can’t be that cruel.”
“Obviously, I can be,” House pointed out. “Don’t you have dying women to comfort?”
“No, I have a friend who’s making arguably the worst mistake of his life.”
“Aren’t we melodramatic today,” House said sarcastically.
“Melo- House, you just sent your daughter out of here in tears to continue searching for the father that she’s already found,” he cried, throwing up his hands. “That’s an entire plotline on daytime television. If that isn’t the very definition of melodramatic, I don’t know what is.”
“Are you finished? Because there’s this new nurse down in reception with a huge rack that never wears a bra-”
“I won’t let you do this, House,” Wilson interrupted furiously.
“It’s already been done. What are you going to do, tell Cameron on me?”
“You know what? If you don’t fix this, I just might,” he threatened as his beeper went off. Heaving a frustrated sigh, he ran a hand through his hair and shook his head, fed up. “I have to go.”
House watched, eyes unreadable, as Wilson strode out of the room. He paused in the doorway and caught House’s gaze.
“You have to tell her,” Wilson said softly.
The door clicked shut behind him, leaving House in silence. Leaning back in his chair and steepling his hands, he looked again at the business card he’d placed on his desk; it was simple, bearing nothing more than the letters “I.W.C.”, a name (first only), and a phone number.
“I know,” House whispered.